Los Angeles is no stranger to auto accidents. With traffic gridlock often gripping the freeways and roads, accidents happen every day, all over the metro area. In 2019, about 54,000 collisions happened in LA, slightly less than last year’s 54,8000 accidents.

So, if you are a regular commuter, you should know what to do if you end up in an accident, to ensure you get your property damage and injury costs covered. Here are six auto accident tips to save you money, and potentially save your life:

  1. Move to the side of the road and call 911 about any injuries. You first need to ensure your safety and that of anyone else in the accident. Even if your injuries (or someone else’s) don’t seem severe, you should seek medical attention. Also, be aware that often signs of whiplash or a concussion may not surface right away. You’ll need to see a doctor if injury symptoms surface later.
  2. Report the accident to police. If you receive injuries in the crash or your vehicle is damaged, the police report about the accident will be useful for your insurance claim. It also can help if you later decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
  3. Exchange information with the other driver and take photos of the accident scene and damage. Anytime you are dealing with an insurance claim, having photos to show the damage to your car and the accident scene are helpful. Use your cell phone to get these images, which can show evidence of how the accident happened and more.
  4. Report the accident to your insurance company. Even if the accident only caused what you feel is minor vehicle damage, the repair costs may be high. Also, if you sustained injuries and were partially at fault for the accident, more than likely part of your insurance claim will go through your insurance company because California is a fault state.
  5. Contact a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies, even your own, often want to offer low-ball settlements for those injured in auto accidents. Working with an attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Dealing with injuries and an insurance claim after an accident can become very frustrating. By following these six steps, you’re more likely to fast-track your claim or at least protect yourself from dealing with more red tape in the process.